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One coat, two coats

A versatile coat

Every season there’s talk about the importance of versatility, both within and outside the world of fashion.  ‘Versatile’ means to be “able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities”.  From a fashion perspective it refers to a garment that is useful across different settings and which can be happily mixed and matched.  To give you an idea of what versatile means to Baltzar and his friends at Richard Gelding in Mayfair, London, we have put together a few looks to showcase the versatility of one of the season’s larger investments – the overcoat, exploring the concept of multi-purpose, whether it’s Friday party, Saturday stroll or the Monday commute in to town.

The Single breasted navy coat

The first coat is the classic navy cashmere overcoat, a garment which is often in pure wool or a wool cashmere blend.  Richard Gelding offers a cashmere version, of course, from Canali, available in-store and online.  Regardless of make and composition, this classic coat is characterised by its knee-long length, notch lapels, three button closure and flap pockets.

Dress down the coat for a casual event by pairing it with yet more classics.  A white McQueen inspired T-shirt with a pair of medium washed Canali jeans and white C.QP sneakers: a classic casual look which can be elevated by adding the cashmere coat.  Allow the cashmere scarf to be prominent, pop the collar and do not hesitate to carry your briefcase – it works just as well!  

When opting for the conventional formal look, not much needs to be told.  A navy suit with sky blue shirt and silk tie from Drake’s naturally paired with black oxford shoes.  The dark grey cashmere scarf sits snuggly around the folded collar for a warm and sophisticated look.  Black carpincho gloves from Hestra and a handmade umbrella from Maglia Francesco give the outfit an exquisite finishing touch.

The Covert coat

The second coat is the covert (with a silent t) coat, made famous by the English fox hunting community, yet now transformed by the Italians.  Manufacturer Caruso has used a drapey covert fabric (similar to cavalry twill) and created a coat with an unconstructed shoulder and the velvet collar, one of the trademarks of a covert coat.  It is slightly shorter in length (ideal for horse riding) with a high centre vent and flap pockets, three-roll-two closing and a Milanese buttonhole.

The principal versatility of a covert coat is the ability to wear any colour with the predominantly neutral colours of the covert cloth.  We’ve dressed down the coat with a focus on the smarter casual side of the spectrum with an off-white turtleneck, grey flannels and hi-top boots from Sanders.  A multi-colour Drake’s scarf is allowed to dangle freely, and the forest green peccary gloves from Hestra give just the right combination of edge and timelessness to the outfit.

When worn in the traditional way, the sky blue business shirt appears again, this time with a contrasting yellow tie and paisley patterned silk and cashmere scarf.  The colours pick up the yarns of the coat fabric neatly, making the outfit well-balanced.  Black or brown oxfords both work well; the navy suit and dark brown elk gloves finish off this sophisticated look.

The brown coat

The last coat for this series is a rather extravagant cashmere and mink coat from Canali, available at Richard Gelding and online.  It has the soft shoulder and half-lining synonymous with the Canali Kei construction, making it less stiff and therefore more easily adaptable to various looks.  Its slanted side pocket opening facilitates access to the cashmere and mink pockets.  The three buttons can be closed from the top, or just the middle to show off some lapel roll.

Styling the coat in a casual way, working with a monochrome colour scheme works well.  A black turtleneck and dark jeans make for a simple yet strong statement that packs a punch.  While using it on formal occasions the softness of the garment brings all the contemporary feel you need to avoid any feeling of dullness when wearing it with your suit and black leather accessories.

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